Do I need a scan?

My mum who is 55 is currently undergoing tx for breast cancer, that had spread to lymph nodes . Do myself (31) and my sister (35) need any testing?. We have a past history of different cancers in the family.

Hi Faye,

Depending on which relatives and what cancers they had depends on whether or not you’ll be offered screening. It might be a good idea to draw up a family tree highlighting members with cancer. Cancers to look out for which may suggest a genetic link are breast, ovarian, prostrate, pancreatic and peritoneal. Once you’ve got all the info take it to your doctor to see if you will be eligable for early screening. I must add that only between 3-5% of breast cancer is heredity and is more common in premenopausal women so try not too worry too much.

Best wishes xx

hi faye

my sis[34]and me[37] tried to get early screening for bc,apart from genetic testing theirs nothing they can offer you.7 women in our fam was dx with the desiese and getting younger every time.3 yrs ago i was dx with bc and had the genes test and discovered i had the braca 1 gene i was 34.we feel on a whole that younger women get a raw deal and more money should go into reasearch for the younger ladies.when my mum was dx the first time 15 yrs ago we went to the family history clinic and i asked what are my chances of getting it.He said i had more chance of getting run over by a bus.How wrong he could be.


Hi Faye

Here is the link to a factsheet published by Breast Cancer Care which may help you to understand more about familial breast cancer, you can read it online or download and print a copy:

Also, please feel free to call our team of specialist nurses on the helpline for support and advice on 0808 800 6000, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm.

Best wishes


I have the BRCA1 mutation.

You can see whether you would qualify for genetic screening by having a read of NICE guideline 41 for familial breast cancer. If you just go to the NICE homepage you will find it easily and within the guideline there is an easy to follow flow chart.

Let me know how you get on.

The criteria seems to be if 2 close family members-for example, if it was your Mum, and your gran/her mum, or her sister who have had b.c., then there could be a genetic link.

I have the BRCA2 mutation, but it was only after I was diagnosed with the genetic misprint that family testing/monitoring was suggested.

There is also the age thing. If family members are younger they are much more interested in doing genetic testing. My mum is in her sixties and has bc, but once they found out she had had the menopause they were not worried as said breast cancer at her age is not usually the genetic type.

As some of you know I had a lumpectomy and biopsies recently for cancer. I told them about my mum and they asked her age. Once I told them they were not worried that I might have cancer because of her history.

Thankyou for all the support, I think from reading the link I maybe dont have direct links to worry about, my mum is the only one in the family who we know of to get BC, her mum died of liver cancer, and her dad of bowel cancer.
So hopefully me and my sister will be ok, but its still a worry.
Take care Faye x

Hi i was going to ask the same question as my mum was diagnosed 5 weeks ago she’s 57 but i went to the doctors today as i’ve been really worried about it and he told me that i can’t have a mammogram or any kind of screening i’ve just got to keep examining myself, thankfully my mums was picked up on a routine scan the small tumour was removed and none had spread to the lymph nodes, unfortunately some pre cancerous cells were still there so she has to go back in next week to have them removed then she will start radio therapy such a worrying time. We cant check back on family history for mums side as she was adopted.
But the doctor tried to reassure me i had nothing to worry about as long as i kept checking myself.
take care all xx